File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-04-21.135, message 61


Subject: Re: M-I: "democracy"
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 97 19:44:12 18000


> Some parliamentarians (a la Lew of the SPGB 
> and a couple others) have been misquoting 
> Engels and using Marx  quotes to "back up"
> parliamenary cretinism  in a most vulgar and
> a-historical manner .
> Neil

Marx used the term "parliamentary cretinism" in *The 18th Brumaire* to 
refer to the self-deception of powerless assemblies vis-a-vis the 
executive...he favored the subjection of executive power which was not 
- in his time - elected...M did suggest - in *The Indian Question* - 
that the "fate of all final forms of parliamentarism" be "ranged under 
the category of nuisances"...parliamentarism appears to be the result 
of separation of powers which Marx - in *The Constitution of the French 
Republic* - called an "old constitutional folly...the condition of a 
free government is not the division, but the unity of power"...in
*Crisis and Counter-Revolution*, he wrote of the "worm-eaten theory
of division of powers"...such comments are consistent with M's view
in *The Civil War in France* of the Paris Commune - "a working, not a
parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time"...Michael



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